Clay County, Illinois Genealogy

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Clay County, Illinois
Map of Illinois highlighting Clay County
Location in the state of Illinois
Map of the U.S. highlighting Illinois
Location of Illinois in the U.S.
Founded: December 23, 1824
County Seat Louisville
Clay County Courthouse.gif
Photo courtesy Illinois Regional Archives Depository, Illinois State Archives
Address Clay County Courthouse
111 E. Chestnut
Louisville, Illinois 62858
(618) 665-3626
Clay County Website

United States Gotoarrow.png IllinoisGotoarrow.png Clay County

Clay County Organization

Clay County's civil records start the following years:

Beginning Dates for Clay County Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1877 1825 1877 1830 1825 1827

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Clay County are kept, see the Clay County Courthouse page

Historical Facts

Henry Clay.JPG
Clay County is named for Henry_Clay who is known for authoring the "Missouri Compromise."

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

Records and Resources



Gotoarrow.png Illinois Cemeteries for more information.

Gotoarrow.png Find A Grave, list of cemeteries. Additional information can be found at local level (city, township, etc.)


For information and tips on accessing census records online, see Illinois Census.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
IL Counties 1900-1990


1840 Pensioners

  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. Washington, D.C., 1841. FHL 973 X2pc 1840; FHL 2321; digital version at Google Books. [See Illinois, Clay County on page 186.]

Church History and Records


FamilySearch has made parish records from two Belleville Diocese Catholic churches in Clay County available online. The records include first communions, confirmations, marriages, and deaths:

Court Records

Original court records are held in the office of the Circuit Court Clerk. See Illinois Court Records for more information about using court records.

The following abstracts and copies of original records may be accessed through the Family History Library.

Ethnic Research

African American

The following have information concerning African American research.


Mailing Lists

Message Boards


Land and Property

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Land and Property for more information.

1817-present The original land and property records for Clay County are held by the County Recorder. See the info box above for contact information. The following copies are available:

Local Histories

  • Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois. Indianapolis, Ind.: B.F. Bowen & Co., 1909. Digital versions at Ancestry ($); Internet Archive. FHL Film 825601


Military History and Records

Civil War

Civil War service men from Clay County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Clay County.

- 21st Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company G.
- 40th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Company K.
- 98th Regiment, Illinois Infantry, Companies A and F.

Naturalization and Citizenship


Clay County, Illinois USGenWeb Obituaries


Probate Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Probate Records for more information.


County Courthouse

County records are most often kept at the County Courthouse or another local repository. For further information about where the records for Clay County are kept, see the Clay County Courthouse page

Family History Centers

There are over 4500 Family History Centers worldwide which serve as branch facilities of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Volunteers provide research assistance to help patrons identify their ancestors.  Microfilm and microfiche may be ordered from the FHL collection at a nominal cost.  Locate your nearest Family History Center at the FamilySearch website.  Call ahead to verify operating hours.  All are welcome.

The following centers are accessible to residents of Clay County, Illinois:

Centralia Illinois Family History Center
Leafland & 3rd Street
Centralia, Marion, Illinois
Phone: 618-532-3482
Hours: Wednesday 2-6pm
Attention: We have temporarily moved to this new location while our building is being remodeled.

Evansville Indiana Family History Center 
8020 E Covert Ave
Evansville, Vanderburgh, Indiana
Phone: 812-471-0191
Hours: First Wednesday of every month 10:00 - 12:00, Tues & Wed evenings 6:00 - 8:00; other times by appointment
Closed: Closed Major Holidays

Vincennes Indiana Family History Center
1940 N Old Hwy 41
Vincennes, Knox, Indiana
Phone: 812-882-4022
Hours: T, Thu 9am-12:30pm, 5pm-8:30pm
Closed: Closed 1 1/2 weeks for Christmas

Please note: Addresses posted are not mailing addresses. Due to limited staff, Family History Centers are unable to respond to mail inquiries

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)

The Illinois State Archives administers a system of Illinois Regional Archives Depositories (IRAD) to manage the archival records of local governments.  Local governments which have transferred records to the regional depositories include counties, townships, municipalities, and school districts.  The records of Clay County come under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) regional depository.

Illinois Regional Archives Depository (IRAD)
Booth Library
Eastern Illinois University (EIU)
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
Telephone: (217) 581-6093
Hours: Monday – Friday, except state holidays
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Note: The depository is staffed by graduate student interns. Because of class scheduling conflicts, hours may vary somewhat from the published schedule. Researchers are urged to call before planning a visit.


Flora Public Library
216 North Main Street
Flora, IL 62839
Phone: (618) 662-6553

Social Groups Online


Genealogical Society of Southern Illinois has a page with details about its' activities.

Clay County Illinois Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 94
Louisville, ILL 62858
Phone: (618) 665-4544


Vital Records

Gotoarrow.png Illinois Vital Records for more information.


1877–present The original Clay County birth records 1877-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1877-1918 Birth Record - IRAD-EIU Search for Clay County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1877-1904 Birth Record Index - IRAD-EIU Search for Clay County records. 
  • 1844-1944 Birth Record, Delayed - IRAD-EIU Search for Clay County records.
  • Marriages

1825–present — The original Clay County marriage records 1825-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

  • 1858–1919 Marriage Record IRAD-EIU Search for Clay County records. How to use IRAD
  • 1825–1845 Marriage Record, Transcription IRAD-EIU Search for Clay County records.

The following abstracts are available:

Illinois Marriages Clay County marriage records for 1860 and 1861 are interspersed with each other. Not overlapped at the end of the year. but mixed at other dates.

Some of the Family History Library's Collection of Clay County marriages have been digitized: Illinois County Marriages, 1810-1934.


1877–present - The original Clay County death records 1877-present are housed in the office of the County Clerk. The following copies are available:

The following abstracts are available:


Databases Pertinent to Clay County


  1. WorldCat 50140092, FHL Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed.] (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002)